Falls Involving Staircases and Handrails in Tennessee
Falls involving staircases and handrails in East Tennessee may cause serious injuries. In addition to broken bones or a concussion, you may also suffer forms of harm that only become apparent later, such as back problems or traumatic brain injuries. It is important not to take a settlement offered to you immediately after an accident because it may take months to know the full extent of the injuries sustained after a traumatic fall. Insurance adjustors sometimes offer a quick, modest settlement that does not address the true nature of your injuries in the hope that you will go away. Maryville premises liability lawyer Mark Hartsoe can help you try to hold a defendant accountable for the full extent of the harm that you have suffered.Bringing a Claim Based on a Fall Involving an Unsafe Condition
Property owners and businesses owe a duty to lawful visitors to make sure that the premises are reasonably safe. This duty includes an obligation to inspect the property for dangerous or hazardous conditions, such as broken steps or handrails or another unsafe condition that might cause a fall. You may be able to hold a property owner or business liable if you were a lawful visitor on the premises, and the defendant knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that caused you to fall.
Actual knowledge of a defective condition on the property may be hard to establish. More often, a plaintiff establishes that a property owner or business should have known about a defective condition.
Constructive notice may be shown in several different ways. First, a plaintiff may show that the owner or business created the dangerous condition on the stairs. Second, a plaintiff may show that the owner or business has a pattern of conduct or recurring behavior that caused the dangerous condition. For example, an owner that routinely ignores complaints about a rickety staircase and never gets the stairs inspected may have constructive notice that the steps are broken. Third, the longer that a defective condition exists, the more likely it is that the owner knew about the condition. If the fall occurs within a few hours of a handrail breaking, this may not be enough time to issue warnings or repair the condition. However, if a staircase had broken steps for two weeks, a reasonably prudent business would likely know of the condition and have time to get someone to come out and make repairs or at least post a warning sign. If a property owner knew or should have known about a dangerous condition and fails to take reasonable actions, they can be held liable for your injuries.
To prevail, you would also need to show that your injuries were a reasonably foreseeable result of the defendant’s inadequate care. Meanwhile, a defendant is entitled to assert the defense of comparative negligence. Many insurance companies try to blame the victim for failing to watch where they were going. This means that the defendant will try to convince the jury that you were partially or fully to blame for your fall. As long as a jury finds that your fault for your injuries was less than 50%, however, you likely can still recover compensation. This is one reason why hiring personal injury attorney Mark Hartsoe is an important step to take in asserting your right to all of the damages that you deserve.Retain Maryville Lawyer Mark Hartsoe for Your Premises Liability Case
If you have fallen on stairs on someone else's property, you should discuss your options with Maryville premises liability attorney Mark Hartsoe, who has substantial experience in these types of cases. He can evaluate whether you have a claim and provide vigorous advocacy. Call the Hartsoe Law Firm at 865-804-1011 or use our online form to set up a free appointment. Hartsoe represents people who need a personal injury or wrongful death attorney across East Tennessee, including in Blount, Knox, Monroe, Loudon, Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, Campbell, Hamblen, Greene, Anderson, Cumberland, and Fentress Counties.